Monday, November 27, 2006


How to impress your girlfriends' parents at Thanksgiving:

You go out and drink on the back porch with the host, a big, burly, lumberjack, Santa Claus looking fellow who's house is perched in the foothills of the Cascades.  Now the host, Heidi's uncle, is a whiskey drinkin' man.  You're not really, but what the hell?  So after a couple glasses of red wine with dinner you find yourself outside at night with the host, the father of your girlfriend, and another guy, all over 55, sipping on shots of Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's, and Seagram's VO Gold.  At least that's the last thing you remember...  Sure you have a foggy memory of drinking a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale and reading the label off the bottle to the family in the living room late that evening.  And you kind of remember that once you make it back to the home of your girlfriends' parents house at midnight, you had to run outside and puke.  This all comes back to you as you peel yourself off the living room floor at 5:10am in the morning, pillow and blanket in hand (which were so tenderly given to you after you passed out on the floor) and swagger over the hide-a-bed.  Later that day before going out to lunch, your girlfriend and her father try to help you out by giving you a couple of Rolaids tablets to chew on and wash down with some whatever.  After a statement of, "oh boy, that didn't go down good", you run out the sliding glass door for the 2nd time in the last 12 hours and fertilize the lawn a little bit more.

Yea... [in my best Lumbergh impersonation]

Anyway.  So besides my drunken story that I'm hoping will generate laughter and stories down the road, I had a pretty good time at Thanksgiving this year.  We drove down to Heidi's parent's place for a couple days, leaving on Thursday and coming back Saturday.  Thanksgiving was actually at her relatives house in the cascades, only a dozen or so miles from the mountain bike race in Oakridge I did earlier this summer.  I learned at dinner that you can't drink the water in the mountains there because it contains arsenic.  So even though you can use it to do dishes or take a shower, you have to drink bottled water.  I got a little, overserved, that night and paid for it the rest of the weekend.  Honestly, I'd rather have pain inflicted on me than be nauseous like that.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've puked in my life; and 2 of those events were from drinking hard liquor.  I just thought those dry heaves all those years ago was because it was Yukon Jack and I was barely 16.  I guess hard liquor and I don't agree with each other.

We went out to watch the "Civil War" game Friday afternoon between, Oregon State and Oregon.  A hard fought game that Oregon State barely won and came down to the last play.  I suffered through it only being able to eat french fries even though my burger was looking good.  I just couldn't stomach it.

That Friday night we went out for Sushi, which is very good on the west coast here, and Eugene has a good spot called Sushi Station, with a couple of additional girls meeting up with us.  Even though I love sushi, I stuck to the cooked stuff, chicken teriyaki as my main course, because I didn't think I could hold it down.  I did sneak in a few tastes though.

We took it easy the rest of the weekend.  I was still kind of hurtin on Sunday even...  played a bunch of Battlefield 2142 with the old man over Ventrilo.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

B-Day Weekend


What a great weekend.  I took Friday off work and Heidi and I drove down during the afternoon.  When we arrived at the Heceta Head Lighthouse, after a short 3 hour drive, it was raining hard.  Because of the rain it was hard to appreciate the view of the ocean from the road as it S-curved all over to get there.  I was hoping it wasn't going to rain all weekend but if it did, enjoy it anyway.


Our room was excellent.  This is my 3rd stay in a bed & breakfast and I'm liking them over hotels.  We had our own bathroom.  The bed was a cool four poster bed high off the ground.  It had a step stool to get into it.  We stayed in Victoria's Room.  It was supposed to be haunted.  There was this guest log with a bunch of entries from people who saw ghosts, or just proposed marriage, or just had a great weekend.  We didn't write anything in it.  I will say that although I was hoping to see something ghostly I didn't.  But I did have strange dreams both Friday and Saturday night which the log did mention people had.

Here's a view of the lighthouse from the lightkeepers house (the bed and breakfast).  It's just a short 5 minute walk away.  Like the nice white picket fence?


So after we settled in the room Friday we checked out the house and then went out for dinner in the small town of Yachats (YAH-hots) about 11 miles north of the lighthouse B&B.  Chicken pot pie, a guy playing guitar, and a fireplace.  Later that night it was a flashlight walk up to the lighthouse.

The next morning, and this is the best part of a B&B, you get to have a nice breakfast.  This place goes way over the top and the breakfast is seven (7) courses!  It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes and it's well worth it.  It's also nice getting to talk to the people staying there.  It feels more comfortable than the antiseptic feeling of staying in a hotel chain.

Here's the table we all ate at.  Those cold disks are called 'chargers'.  Which I never knew until that weekend...


Thankfully it was a nice sunny day so we drove about 1/2 mile south to the Sea Lion Caves.  They were all out enjoying the day so there were none to see in the cave.  We did see several out in the water though.


After that we picked up some cheese, crackers, and sausage and settled on the couch at the lighthouse and did some reading in the afternoon in front of the fireplace.  This was the view out the window...


 Later that evening we went back into Yachats for dinner.  We found this really cool place called the Drift Inn for some fish and chips.  They have live music every night.  We ended up buying the CD for the 3 guys playing that night.  Ukrainian music.  The guy playing the violin was great.  I find out later that it's a family affair.  His dad plays the guitar and made, that's right, hand-made, the violin, that his son is playing.  Their website isn't up yet but perhaps it'll be someday and this link, Zach Konowalchuk & the Pieces of Eight, will be active.  I took a little video.

The next morning we had another great 7 course breakfast, took a little tour of the house to learn about the history and then headed home.  We drove up the coast abit, which I'm always completely awed at.  I guess when you grow up living in WI/IL you can't help but marvel at the waterfalls shooting out the side of mountain into the ocean.  Hopefully Heidi doesn't get tired of me shouting, "Holy sh*t, look at that!  Way cool."

We stopped at a state park along the way, I forget the name, to look for whales and learn about the local history.  I liked the "Bear Country" sign... of course it doesn't say anything about the Cougar / Mountain Lion population. .. They think the disappearance of one of the cats at the lighthouse is due to one...


As usual more pics here.  I took some movies which I'll upload as well.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Endurox vs Chocolate Milk

I came across this news article today.  Study: Chocolate milk good for athletes.  That's surprising.  I know I did mention coming across something like this in a previous post.  I'll paraphrase some of the article in case the link goes dead.

But a group of scientists recently discovered that one of the most effective drinks to help athletes recover after exercise is the same thing moms across America have been giving their kids for years. A simple glass of chocolate milk.

To be forthright, the study by the scientists from Indiana University was supported in part by the Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Still, their findings are compelling.

The small group of fit athletes who took part in the study were asked to work out strenuously on a stationery bicycle, then drink low-fat chocolate milk, a fluid-replacement drink like Gatorade and a carbohydrate replacement drink like Endurox R4. A few hours later, they were asked to cycle again until they reached exhaustion.

The test was repeated three times — once with each kind of drink — and the data showed that the cyclists were able to go between 49 and 54 percent longer on the second stint after drinking chocolate milk than when they drank the carbohydrate drink. The difference between the milk and the fluid-replacement drink was not significant.

"My way of explaining it is, there's really nothing magic about the powder in a can that you mix with water," cycling coach Scott Saifer said of the carbohydrate drink. "It's water, carbs, proteins, maybe minerals and electrolytes. What's in chocolate milk? The same thing. There's no reason it shouldn't be as good for recovery as a carb drink."

Butch, Ray, Ryan, and myself can all swear by Endurox.  We've all used it, and we've all gone out a purchased those big plastic bins that cost anywhere from $30 - $50 bucks depending on the size.  Next time after my ride, instead of reaching for the bin of Endurox I think I'm going to read into the cooler and mix myself some chocolate milk instead.

After all... don't we all want to go longer?


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

High Winds

Great.  Well hopefully I don't get blown off the I-5 bridge into the Columbia River tonight during the ride home from work.  I might have to walk my bike across.




Well it took me an extra 30 minutes on the ride. Winds practically made me go backwards during the ride south as they slammed into me. Once I made it downtown and into the west hills, with 5 miles to go, I finally found some shelter but those 15 miles... where I would normally be going 18-20 mph i was 8-9 mph. I was also able to ride the bridge.

I was thinking why did I do this when I had multiple offers to drive me home? Proof it could be done? Bravado? Stubborn? Mental toughness training? Beating mother nature? Maybe just stupid.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Turkey-Day Lunch

We had turkey, mash potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls and three different pies; marionberry, apple, and pumpkin (with Cool Whip) brought in for lunch today.  Brought in from Fred Meyer (grocery store chain).  We also got a nice $500 extra put in our pay envelopes today (before tax).  Nice on both accounts.  Now I just need to stay awake (hmm... I guess tryptophan is more a myth than reality).


Thursday, November 09, 2006

35th Birthday

Today is my 35th birthday.  Gone through quite a change from where I was living to now.  While I think one can learn from history, I don't think it's good to dwell on the past.  There's certainly nothing you can do about it.  I'm not feeling real introspective at the moment so I'll just leave it at this.  There isn't a thing I would change about my past.  It's made me who I am.  I think life presents you with opportunities; it's like a path with forks leading to different endings.  It's about the journey not the destination.  I'm certainly excited about the path I've chosen.  I got a great girl and live in a cool city... and I'm going to the beach this weekend!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Today is Tuesday and time to vote.  Oregon and Washington do things a little different.  You vote only by mail.  Two weeks ago we received two big pamphlets.  One contained pictures and text about each candidate.  The other contained a printed statement about each measure to be voted on as well as short 500 word statements either in favor or opposition to the measure.  It only costs $500 to place your statement in the pamphlets and the pamphlets are fully paid for by this so it costs the state nothing to send out these voter materials.  You then just mark up your selects by coloring in the circles (like a scantron test sheet) and either drop it in the mail or at a drop box.


It took me about 2 hours to go through everything last night.  I have to say I find this very rewarding.  In Wisco and Illinios you stand in line for hours jsut to get to a voter booth and then have no idea who some of the candidates are or what certain measures are unless you have watched a bunch of commercials or tried to do homework on the issues before hand.  And good luck finding non-biased material on what you were voting on.

Check out how one person spelled out the word DUH in their Argument in Favor...


I can remember a few times where I just plain walked away because it was 7pm at night after I had gotten home from work and had dinner and now I had to go stand in sub freezing tempuratures for 3 hours in a line to vote.  Let alone find a damn parking spot.  Lame.

Also, there's no 'party line' voting here.  In WI/IL you can just check off the 'Republican' or 'Democrat' or 'Libertarian' box right at the top and skip voting for each candidate.  Not here.  You have to make your choices.  Another cool thing is that citizens can get measures put on the ballet by getting some number of signatures completely bypassing the legislature.  Truelly government by the people and I think other states should take note.



Monday, November 06, 2006


We had a magnitude 2.6 earthquake here last night.  Around 9:30 PM PST.  That's what I heard on the news anyway.  We were eating a late dinner and watching TV and didn't feel a thing.  Earthquakes though... wow.  Now that's truly not Midwest.  From the Oregonian:

Small quake shakes Portland metro area

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Portland area was hit by a small earthquake at 9:34 p.m. Sunday that rattled houses throughout the city.

The magnitude 2.6 quake occurred about 10 miles beneath the earth's surface under the center of the city, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Reports came from throughout the city from residents who felt the earthquake. Some in Northeast Portland felt a marked shaking. The quake also was felt in the West and Southwest areas, as well as downtown.